Thursday, July 04, 2013
I finally saw the latest Star Trek movie when I got back from my Caribbean vacation at my favorite theater in Washington (the AMC Courthouse Plaza 8) and then saw it again with the Other Half back home in Los Angeles at the movie theater closest to our house (Edwards Alhambra Renaissance 14).
Star Trek Into Darkness is a sequel to 2009's Star Trek directed by J.J. Abrams which attempted to re-boot the Star Trek movie franchise, mostly successfully. However, a key weak point in that movie was the villain, played by Eric Bana, and the script. The strongest aspect of the reboot was the casting of all the legendary characters such as Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin).
So, this second film in the new Star Trek movie franchise has a good base on which to start from and uses it to excellent effect. One of the brilliant aspects of the film is the casting of the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He is introduced to us as John Harrison but he will be much better known by true Star Trek fans by another name (which I won't mention here because it is the key spoiler to the film's plot). In fact, the story is one of the best parts of this film, even if it was apparently constructed by the team of Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (the creative team behind Fringe) & Damon Lindelof (the longtime showrunner behind Lost and one of the writers of last year's Prometheus).
Without talking about the plot, I can review other aspects of the film which highlight why it is so enjoyable. As a result of events that happened in the 2009 film, this version of Star Trek is in a very different time line from the Star Trek universe that we have been accustomed to from the multiple television series and subsequent films. In this parallel universe, there are several important differences, such as 1) Planet Vulcan (Spock's home world) has been destroyed and 2) Spock and Uhura are in an actual relationship between Kirk and Spock, and 3) There is still a cold war between humans and Klingons.
Essentially the film is a sci-fi action film built around a buddy flick between Spock and Kirk. Quinto and Pine have a good chemistry between them and there is non-stop action which will sate any summer blockbuster junkie. Combined with a clever plot and what you have is a very enjoyable time at the movies!
Title: Star Trek Into Darkness.
Director: J.J. Abrams.
Running Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Release Date: May 17, 2013.
Viewing Date: June 5, 2013 and June 15, 2013.
Overall Grade: A/A- (3.917/4.0).